In yesterday’s morning worship, I preached from Mark 8:31-33. In our study, we are noticing a transition in Jesus’ ministry. He is starting to spend much time with His disciples in order to prepare them for the impending passion scene that will reach the climax as Jesus is nailed to a Roman cross.
In this text, we notice that Jesus spent time teaching the disciples. His ministry was a teaching and preaching ministry. The signs and miracles were merely to validate His doctrine, but the core of Jesus’ ministry was centered on public proclamation and private teaching and discipleship.
As Jesus spent time teaching His disciples, the content of His teaching was centered on the gospel. What exactly is the gospel? Many people don’t know what the gospel actually is. Some define it as a genre of music or a type of preaching, but Jesus explains to His disciples what the gospel actually is in His private teaching session.
The first time we see the word “gospel” appear in the New Testament is in Matthew 4:23. The first time it appears in Mark is in Mark 1:1. The literal meaning of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, translated “gospel” in English, is good news. The gospel is the fact that the second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ – (infinitely holy God of all creation) – took upon Himself human flesh and was crushed by the Father in a painful and substitutionary death for hopeless sinners. On the third day, Jesus was brought to life in victory over death and the grave proving the fact that He alone is the exclusive means of reconciliation for guilty rebels and law breakers. Jesus is the only way a sinner can receive forgiveness of sins and mercy from a holy and wrathful God.
Jesus explains three non-negotiable elements of the gospel.
- The Son of Man must suffer many things.
- The Son of Man must be killed.
- The Son of Man must be raised from the dead.
In due season, Jesus would fulfill His own prophetic statement by going through the horrific scourging, beating, and crucifixion (Psalm 22). He would endure pain, anguish, betrayal, and death for guilty sinners as He would be crushed on the cross under the wrath of the Father (Isaiah 53). In triumphant victory, three days later, Jesus would be resurrected from the dead. He would do something that no man has ever done – or every will do. He fulfilled Psalm 24. John Piper once said:
The good news is that God himself has decreed a way to satisfy the demands of His justice without condemning the whole human race. Hell is one way to settle accounts with sinners and uphold his justice. But there is another way. The wisdom of God has ordained a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the justice of God. And what is this wisdom? The death of the Son of God for sinners!
In the midst of Jesus’ teaching, Satan entered the scene and led Peter astray. Just a few verses after making a profound declaration of Christology, Peter makes a profound error in his depravity. Real Christians make big mistakes. Peter is a prime example of this. Jesus rebuked Satan and Peter at the same time.
Do you know the gospel?
Do you believe the gospel?
Are you aware of the constant barrage of Satanic attacks that occur around you on a regular basis in order to sway you, persuade you, and tempt you to walk away from the mission of the gospel?
Hear the rebuke of Jesus.
Take up your cross and follow Him.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ – By: Josh Buice